Czech Republic Travel Information
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GMT +1 (GMT +2, Apr - Oct)
Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. Round two-pin plugs with a hole for a male grounding pin are standard. Most sockets also take the standard European two-pin plugs.
Czech is the official language but English and German are also widely spoken.
There are no vaccination requirements for international travellers, and no major health risks are associated with travel to the Czech Republic. Vaccinations are recommended for hepatitis A and hepatitis B. Long-term visitors to forested areas may want to consider seeking medical advice about immunisation against tick borne encephalitis.
Medical facilities are good in Prague but may be more limited in rural areas. A reciprocal health agreement with the UK entitles citizens with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to free emergency health care. Comprehensive medical insurance is advised.
Tipping in restaurants is optional and generally no service charge is added to bills. Gratuities of about 10 percent are expected for good service. Taxi drivers are tipped by rounding up the fare at the end of the journey.
The majority of visits to the Czech Republic are trouble-free, although the country has a risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which it shares with most of Europe. Petty theft is a concern, especially in Prague, and visitors should be vigilant about their belongings particularly on public transport and around the main tourist sites. Violent crime is rare.
Drunken behaviour and drinking in public is punishable by law in the Czech Republic. Some bars and restaurants in Prague will not allow entry for stag parties.
Punctuality is vital in the Czech business world and dress should be smart and conservative. Initial greetings are usually formal, with a firm handshake. Titles and surnames are used, unless otherwise indicated. There is generally some small talk to establish rapport at the beginning of meetings; be polite and courteous. German is the most common foreign language used in the Czech Republic but English is widely spoken by younger generations. Translators are available and any attempts at speaking Czech will be appreciated when doing business. Deals can take a long time to manifest due to significant bureaucratic red tape and it is important to be patient. Business hours are usually 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday and some businesses close during the month of August.
The international access code for the Czech Republic is +420. There are high surcharges on international calls from hotels; it is cheaper to use the public telephone boxes - phone cards can be bought from newsagents. The local mobile phone operators use GSM networks and have roaming agreements with all major international operators, except those in the USA. Internet cafes are available in the main towns.
Travellers over the age of 17, arriving from non-EU countries, do not have to pay duty on 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g tobacco, or a proportional assortment of these; 1 litre spirits over 22% volume or 2 litres of spirits under 22% volume and 4 litres of wine and 16 litres of beer; and other goods up to the value of €430 for travellers arriving by air, and €300 for other travellers.
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